7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For April 26, 2020

Sunday Family

Put a little spice into family day with CHIPOTLE-ROASTED CHICKEN WITH POTATOES. Serve the flavor-rich chicken with GREEN BEANS. Add a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. Slice ANGEL FOOD CAKE and top it with sliced PEACHES and LIGHT WHIPPED CREAM for dessert.

Save 2 chicken breasts and enough cake for Monday; save enough peaches for Wednesday.

Shopping List

chipotle chili pepper seasoning, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, coarse salt, cumin, red potatoes, canola oil, light brown sugar, boneless skinless chicken breasts, green beans, Bibb lettuce, crusty bread, angel food cake, peaches, light whipped cream.


makes 6 servings of chicken; 4 servings of potatoes
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
About 1 hour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium red potatoes (quartered)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
  • 6 (5- to 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine chipotle chili pepper seasoning, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt and cumin; mix well. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon of spice mixture. Mix brown sugar with remaining spice mixture; set aside. Cover large baking sheet with nonstick foil. Rub spice mixture on both sides of chicken pieces. Arrange chicken on one half of baking sheet. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on other half of baking sheet. Loosely cover chicken and potatoes with foil and bake 35 to 40 minutes; remove foil. Turn and rearrange potatoes. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees and potatoes are tender.

Per serving (chicken breast): 168 calories, 30 grams protein, 4 grams fat (21% calories from fat), 0.8 gram saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 91 milligrams cholesterol, 295 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb choices: 0.

Per serving (potatoes): 163 calories, 4 grams protein, 4 grams fat (20% calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 30 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 61 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

Use the leftovers for CHICKEN TACOS. Heat and shred the 2 leftover chicken breasts for the taco filling; spoon into warmed taco shells. Top the filling with salsa verde, shredded lettuce and reduced-fat sour cream. Alongside, add canned reduced-sodium PINTO BEANS. Slice the leftover CAKE for dessert.

Shopping List

taco shells, salsa verde, lettuce, reduced-fat sour cream, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans.

Tuesday Kids

Treat your buckaroos to BISON CHEESEBURGERS using 2% American cheese slices on whole-grain buns. (You can use lean ground beef instead of bison.) Of course, your cowpokes will want lettuce, tomatoes and low-fat mayonnaise on their burgers. Serve the burgers with OVEN FRIES (from frozen). For a fun dessert, ICE CREAM SANDWICHES are perfect.

Shopping List

ground bison or lean ground beef, 2% American cheese slices, whole-grain buns, lettuce, tomatoes, low-fat mayonnaise, frozen oven fries, ice cream sandwiches.

Wednesday Express

Make a quick dinner of CORNED BEEF HASH AND STEAMED EGGS. Spread 2 (15-ounce) cans corned beef hash in a large nonstick skillet and cook 8 to 10 minutes on medium or until hot. Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 indentations into hash. Break 1 egg into a cup and slip into an indentation. Repeat with 3 more eggs. Sprinkle eggs with coarse salt and pepper. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until eggs are set and cooked to desired doneness. Serve with PICKLED BEETS, a packaged GREEN SALAD and RYE BREAD. Leftover PEACHES are a simple dessert.

Shopping List

canned corned beef hash, eggs, coarse salt, pepper, pickled beets, packaged salad greens, rye bread.

Thursday Budget

Sometimes when we want CHILI, I buy a premixed seasoning packet (with less sodium when available) and use either ground chicken or turkey breast instead of ground beef for a different flavor and to reduce saturated fat. You can choose your favorite beans to suit your family's taste. I often add an extra can of beans to stretch it. Serve the low-cost dish with COLESLAW and CORN MUFFINS (from a mix). How about PLUMS for dessert?

Thin the leftover chili with broth for a delicious soup.

Shopping List

packet chili mix, chili ingredients according to packet label, coleslaw, corn muffin mix, plums.

Friday Meatless

For a no-meat meal, COUSCOUS WITH PEPPERS AND OLIVES hits the spot at our house. Serve with a SPINACH SALAD with sliced hard-cooked eggs and FLATBREAD. Enjoy RED AND GREEN GRAPES for dessert.

Shopping List

butternut squash, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, cumin, curry powder, couscous, golden raisins, kalamata olives, fresh spinach, eggs, flatbread, red and green grapes.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
25 minutes, plus couscous
  • 2 pounds butternut squash (peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces) (see NOTE)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 12 wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 10 ounces couscous (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup halved kalamata olives

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put squash, bell pepper, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a roasting pan; toss to coat. Spread in a single layer. Roast, turning once, 25 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring water, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, cumin, curry powder and remaining salt to a boil. Stir in couscous and raisins. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork; stir in roasted vegetables and olives and serve.

NOTE: Many supermarkets offer butternut squash already peeled and cut.

Per serving: 369 calories, 9 grams protein, 7 grams fat (16% calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 71 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 371 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Saturday Entertain the Family


Shopping List

butter, shelled pistachios, orange, honey, salmon fillets, coarse salt, chipotle chili pepper, garlic powder, green onion, brown rice, asparagus, Boston lettuce, baguette, apple tart, vanilla ice cream.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
about 12 to 15 minutes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shelled pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 green onion, sliced on diagonal

Heat grill for direct heat, or heat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine butter, pistachios and orange zest. Chill until ready to serve.

Combine honey and orange juice. Set aside. Season salmon with salt, chipotle pepper and garlic powder. Grill salmon until opaque, firm and salmon flakes with a fork, turning once and brushing with honey glaze during last 2 to 3 minutes of grill. (For oven, bake 12 to 15 minutes on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.) Transfer salmon to serving platter. Sprinkle with green onion and serve with pistachio butter. (Adapted from www.SwirlsOfFlavor.com.)

Per serving: 347 calories, 31 grams protein, 20 grams fat (51% calories from fat), 8.7 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 97 milligrams cholesterol, 455 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.